This reminder is for all of you moms and dads who are trying to help your kids learn to become more independent by assigning chores or any number of steps you might take to foster self reliance. But it can be tough, can’t it? Especially when you open the dishwasher and notice they haven’t placed that bowl where you think it should go, and if they had just moved those glasses over a bit a little more would fit, and maybe you’ll just make this one adjustment …
Stop right there – and don’t touch the dishes!
As parents, we have lots of bullet points in our job description. Making sure our kids eat right, get enough sleep, get plenty of exercise, do their homework, to name only a few of those responsibilities. Helping our kids develop the skills they need to be successful in the future may be one of the most important things we do, though.
Problem solving, decision making, collaborating, innovating – they sound like the characteristics needed for success in the business world rather than things we need to be teaching our kids. But the truth is that if we want our kids to grow up to be successful, then we need to give them the opportunities to develop these skills now.
Whether it’s giving your child age-appropriate after school chores or letting them face the consequences of not turning in homework, parents play an important role in helping their kids build these success skills. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. Others can help.
Now, back to the dishes. If we want to help our kids learn and thrive, we have to show them that we have confidence in their abilities – even if that means leaving the dishes alone. Of course we need to show them how to do things and how to improve. But then we have to step back and let them try things on their own.